Sometimes a situation arises unexpectedly when it is established that you do not have the mental ‘capacity’ to make decisions about your everyday life and care. Every attempt will be made to support you to make a decision independently, but sometimes this isn’t possible. It is very important that any decision about your mental capacity is made according to the principles of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA). This includes ensuring that any decisions taken on your behalf are only made in your best interests and in consultation with those closest to you.
If you are found to lack mental capacity, you may be ‘deprived of your liberty’ to protect you from coming to harm. This will mean you are under continuous supervision and control and not free to leave. The law says that before someone is deprived of their liberty, independent checks must be done to ensure their wellbeing is protected.
Under these kind of cirumstances, you are entitled to an advocate who can help support you to express your wishes or speak on your behalf. The deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) are set out within law to ensure that if someone's freedom is restricted, it is done so according to the legal requirements and is only done in the person's best interest. Any restrictions of liberty must be kept to the absolute minimum required to prevent the person from coming to harm.
If you, or someone you know has had or is likely to have their freedom restricted (deprivation of liberty), and you want to talk to someone about it - please call the DoLS team on 01225 477900.